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Unnaturally Speaking

In Dragon’s Looking Glass world, inanimate objects speak in tongues; cups, saucers, hammers, and styrofoam are endowed with the gift of speech; and the babble of a brook is literal, not metaphorical. It’s personification (and heteroglossia) taken to an extreme. It strikes me that this peculiar propensity for hearing the cacophony of voices in anything capable of generating friction has potential artistic application. I think of the sounds of a…

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A Tree-Mail 'Thank You'

A Tree-Mail ‘Thank You’Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Sometimes, even for a cyber-guy like me, an old-fashioned, hand-crafted “Thank You” note just makes it all worthwhile. From my former student Kirsten Schubert, who really knows how to make a fellow feel appreciated. You’re very welcome, Kirsten!

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Princeton faculty approves grade-rationing plan

Under the guidelines, which go into effect in the fall for Princeton’s 4,600 undergraduates, faculty are expected to restrict the number of A’s to 35 percent in undergraduate courses; for junior and senior independent work, the percentage receiving A’s will be capped at 55 percent. –Princeton faculty approves grade-rationing plan (CBS/AP)

More Blog. Less Talk.

Complaints I often hear around campus (our students don’t read/write) are turned on their head when we see the kinds of writing circulating around the economy of expression called the Web. Not everyone‘sthere yet, but many are; many we don’t realize are our the students in first year writing sitting there bored because of some textbook or uninformed instructor asking them to write about ?a controversial issue? or their favorite…

Marketers Press for Product Placement in Magazine Text

This admission is privately echoed by top players at magazines owned by major publishers, who sometimes cite more lax ad/edit divisions at European magazines as a catalyst. But a jacket showing up in a fashion layout doesn’t equal, say, a series of paid-for Cadillac references showing up in a short story that doesn’t have the words “special advertising section” topping it, nor a long account of a mountaineering expedition studded…